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Game Day Build-Up: Sens look to send out 2022 with a win in Utica

December 31, 2022

Presented by Carpenters Union Local 397
Dec.31/22 @ Utica Comets (NHL Affiliate: New Jersey Devils)

The Set-Up:

It’s New Year’s Eve and after a 12-162-0 start to the season, the Belleville Senators might be looking forward to turning the calendar over, but there’s more work to be done before the ball drops on 2022. The Sens are in Utica tonight to take on the Comets, a night after falling 5-3 to the Amerks in Rochester, despite a pair of goals from Ridly Greig and the first of the season from Jonathan Aspirot. Belleville has now lost three games in a row and comes up against a Comets team that has points in six straight, including a 3-1 win at home to Lehigh Valley last night.

Previous History:

This is meeting number three-of-six between the Sens and Comets this season, with Utica winning both prior matchups, 3-2 at Adirondack Bank Center in late November and 7-3 back at CAA Arena earlier this month. Lifetime against the Comets, the Senators are 13-12-1-0 against the Comets and 6-5-0-0 in Utica.

Roster Notes:

After a pair of injuries on Friday night, Troy Mann will go with 11 forwards and seven defencemen tonight. Joe Carroll will be inserted, after both Jayce Hawryluk and Brennan Saulnier were hurt in Rochester. Xavier Bernard will be the extra defenceman and Antoine Bibeau will make his first start in five games, backed up by Mads Søgaard. Forwards Jake Lucchini and Rourke Chartier, and defender Jacob Bernard-Docker are still on NHL recalls to Ottawa.

Injury Report:

# Name Pos. Last Game Games Missed Timeline Notes
7 Viktor Lodin LW Dec.7/22 @ TOR 8 Week-to-Week Upper Body
8 Jayce Hawryluk RW Dec.30/22 @ ROC Day-to-Day Lower Body
10 Philippe Daoust C Nov.23/22 @ UTI 13 Season Ending Shoulder
19 Cory Conacher RW Nov.5/22 vs TOR 19 Indefinite Undisclosed
26 Brennan Saulnier LW Dec.30/22 @ ROC Week-to-Week Upper Body
33 Lassi Thomson D Dec.21/22 vs WBS 3 Week-to-Week Upper Body
34 Roby Jarventie LW Oct.29/22 @ RFD 21 Week-to-Week Knee

Who to Watch:

Ridly Greig continues to draw attention for Belleville, with the rookie forward notching points in four of his past five games, including his first multi-goal game at the professional level last night. Egor Sokolov has also been finding some consistency lately, with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in his last 21 games played, not going back-to-back games without a point over that stretch. With an assist last night, Max Guenette has moved into the top scoring defenseman in the league, with 17 points (two goals, 15 assists).

The Comets are led offensively by Graeme Clarke (10 goals, 15 assists, 26 games played) and Nolan Stevens (9 goals, 11 assists, 24 games played). Both are also bringing six-game point streaks into tonight’s contest, with Clarke notching five goals and eight assists over that span, while Stevens has four goals and five assists during his streak. Reilly Walsh is also among the leaders in defensive scoring, with 18 points (three goals, 15 assists).

Follow the action:

Tonight’s game can be seen on AHL TV, or heard live on the Belleville Sens Entertainment Network. Pregame coverage starts at 6:45p.m. (ET) with David Foot.

Ticket info:

Tickets for all Belleville Sens home games are available via Ticketmaster or at the CAA Arena Box Office, with more information on group experiences, promotional packs and more, available on the Belleville Sens website.

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